Of Hearts and Stones

Small stones cobbled the backyard
of the San Gabriel Mountains foothill home
where I grew up, dappled by the light
of pergola and wisteria overhead, flanking
cascading waterfalls and the fishpond
my father built outside my parents’
bedroom window;

Yet it was giant granite boulders larger
than fishing shacks which grounded me
to the woods and waters of eastern Maine,
region of choice for a street-weary soul,
igneous wonders cleaved from glaciers
that covered most of New England
if not all, long before human memory;

Planting anything in that rocky terrain took
fortitude and persistence, pickaxe and shovel
and plenty of insect repellent, for winter
spread ice and snow into drifts and created
crystalline topsoil, while early springtime’s
mud prevented solid progress; thus it was bug-
riddled May before the earth was clear
and pliable enough for groundbreaking;

Still, steadfastness and a rototiller tamed
the garden enough to hoe up, row by row,
a large area in which to raise vegetables
as grocery stores provided little truly fresh,
and farmers markets had not yet caught on
in a time before they widened the highway
and a half-hour commute into town transformed
our lakeside village into a bedroom community;

Every year out of thirty-four, that same plot
heaved up rocks and boulders of every size,
thus before cultivating and yielding those
delectable edibles, one really had to harvest
rocks and more rocks, while piles lined
perimeters to be carried closer to the house
to ring flower gardens or delimit pathways,
or to place on an animal’s grave to prevent
hungry intruders from dislodging rotting
remains;

Nothing and everything changes, routines
may remain, yet nature demonstrates
with each passing season the modicum
of knowledge humans might grasp about
the ground under our feet, so busy are we
jumping into metal boxes and flying
at breakneck speed to obtain life’s
necessities, while stones, ever patient,
mark the ages with a persistence
and perseverance all their own.

Pololu pohaku
Pololu Valley pohaku
Pololu beach rocks
Goose Pond, ME granite shoreline – C Johnson
Goose Pond forest boulder – C Johnson (photo with Vernon Emeliano)
Goose Pond fairy boulder – C Johnson

23 thoughts on “Of Hearts and Stones

    1. Many thanks, Betty. I don’t know why it occurs to me to share this with you in particular, but I had to jump onto my laptop to type it 😉 It’s so interesting the difference between communicating with the angelic realms (speed up energy, lighten it up), animal realms (domestic=down a bit; wild=slow it down a lot), trees (slow down more, down, get roots, down into the earth), plants (less so but get roots and lighten the pace if flowers or veggies), and rocks (slowww it dowwnnn, get roots, down, down, down). I suspect you do this yourself, and wonder if you have a similiar experience. I do love rocks, and yet in Maine, didn’t have a good enough camera to take many photos, mostly in survival mode most of the time. So I shared some Chris took when he and his helper Vern went back to Maine a few years back to clear brush and blowdowns on our land for sale there. Taken with his iPhone 4s. I did take the Hawaii pohaku photos, however. Rocks are such amazing beings! Imagine what they’ve witnessed in their lifetimes. Aloha, dearie – hope you’re having a great week! August 1! I saw that ‘1’ on my electronic calendars and thought “July.” Guess I’m really not in step. Which is a good thing 😉 xoxo

      1. Yes, I do this too, Bela – and in the same order. It’s an intuitive thing that I hadn’t really analyzed before. Trees have a lot of energy/consciousness – maybe on the same level as certain animals. (I empathize with them strongly.)
        Your thoughts about rocks reminded me of this (bad) poem I wrote at age 15:

        Rocks see
        without passion
        the earth’s attempts
        to make a world –
        the rise, the fall
        eternal.
        Only rocks
        can watch the past,
        the present,
        and see the whole,
        but wisdom can’t
        foresee the end,
        and even rocks
        change shape in time.

        Ha! That really is bad. 😀

      2. It really is not. Not bad, and I can totally relate to a 15-year-old’s poetry because I wrote plenty of it back then. Pretty insightful too. I’m amazed what deep thinkers teenagers can be. Lots of parents don’t much care for them, but I really loved working with teenagers. They know everything, haha! what’s not to like about that!? 😘

      3. You are kind, Bela – thank you. 😄 And I agree, teenagers do think deeply about things. At least we used to, back in the days before cell phones, etc. But don’t get me started on that. 😊 I’m just thankful we didn’t have all the distractions that modern teenagers do. ❤️

  1. Lovely Bela. I have many igneous rocks that surround me, some of it is lava, picked up from the Canary Islands many moons ago. I have friends who bring me back a rock from wherever they go travelling to, and they all help ground me when I need it, stop me floating away too far from myself. The most wondrous one was when a close friend went trekking in Nepal and found a huge ammonite on a mountain; he’d been told that once in a blue moon (or the Nepalese talk for such) the god of the mountain would leave an ammonite for a walker to find, it was a rare thing and meant good fortune for whoever had the wee creature’s form. And find one he did, a huge one. He’d intended bringing some small rock back for me, but this was heavy and he dad the choice of leaving behind some of his much needed supplies from his rucksack to carry it, or carry on on his way. He gave his supplies to a random fellow traveller and brought the ammonite back to give to me. Minerals are around me also, I studied Geology at one point and have a deep love for them too.

    ‘Nothing and everything changes’ – That’s the core of it. Nature is the clearest example of this. From igneous rocks to the eyes we see in the bathroom mirror every morning.

    – Esme sending love from way up in the Cloud

  2. Only poets can infuse life into rocks! Also they can hear them, talk to them and visualise their journey of thousands of years. Love the way you have spoken about them Bela.Thanks for sharing those fantastic pictures of stones, some of which seem to have stood the test of time travails.
    Reminds me of my recent conversation I had with my grandson who likes to pluck leaves, gather them in his bucket and too eager to throw them in the Green bin. When I told him that we shouldn’t pluck leaves because they don’t like it and it hurts the trees, Pat came the replies…how do you know? They can’t talk! They have plenty, so what if we pluck some! But they throw away so many in Fall! Can I gather them all? 🙂

    1. Haha, cute and so clever, that grandson of yours! Kids have their own rationale, do they not!? 😁 Thanks for your kind compliments, Balroop. Being born sensitive has had its drawbacks, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Having only to imagine communicating with other life forms would empty life of its magic, for me.

      Aloha, dear one. Be well! 💕

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